Travel writer Poke Rafferty, introduced in A NAIL THROUGH THE HEART, is almost ready to give up his Looking for Trouble book series which would allow him to stay put in Bangkok, with his girlfriend Rose and his newly adopted daughter, Miaow. And with any luck, Rose will finally agree to marriage. But luck is not in Poke's immediate future, a fact that becomes all too apparent when his long lost father, Frank, who walked out on Poke and his mother when Poke was a child, resurfaces, bringing trouble with him. And trouble, in this case, takes the form of the merciless and desperate Colonel Chu whose "retirement" plans have gone up in smoke, thanks to Poke's father. Chu's priceless rubies that have taken years to amass, not to mention the papers that establish a new identity for him, have been stolen and Chu will do anything to get them back. When Frank hands them over to Poke for safekeeping, he puts Rose and Miaow in frightening danger and getting them out of it will take every skill Poke has at his disposal.